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Endocrinol Exp. 1983 Oct;17(3-4):191-205.

Perinatal mother-offspring pituitary-adrenal interrelationship in rats: corticosterone in milk may affect adult life.


The pituitary-adrenal interrelationships between the mother and offspring are apparently operating during postnatal life in the rat via the corticosterone present in milk and passing into the suckling. A mother-offspring pituitary-adrenal interrelationship is at play during postnatal life in the rat, by the way of corticosterone present in milk and passing into the suckling. Changes in the milk concentration of glucocorticoid hormone (adrenalectomy or corticosterone administration in the mother) in a physiological or physiopathological range, show some consequences in later life. These consist in apparently permanent changes in binding capacity of the glucocorticoid receptor in the hippocampus, as well as in related adaptive behavioral and endocrine activities. The sensitivity in the offspring to the effects of manipulations of the above interrelationship is, at least in part, sex dependent.

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